As Declucks expands to service a higher volume of customers, its systems and processes need to expand with it. The business expanded geographically to neighboring towns such as Stamford, Poundridge, and Armonk.
By April our financials were in complete disarray, scattered throughout my personal bank accounts and my venmo. The company account was meant to be done in the fall, but it kept on getting delayed. The whole process involved way too many trips back and forth to the bank. First, it was the problem of moving one of my parents up to be registered as a managing director since I am under 18, then it was the EIN #, and so on…. Finally getting the account was like a breath of fresh air, and I couldn’t have been more excited when the new company debit card arrived in my mailbox.
With the bank account setup, Declucks could finally set up a professional accounting system. After some research, I decided that Quickbooks would be our best option mainly because it’s a reliable, cloud-based solution that's in our price range. After forcing myself through their tutorial videos, I set up the chart of accounts and input all the previous financial transactions, back to the start of the year. Although a brutal process, every day I thank myself for doing it since billing is now much simpler and easier, and I can now generate financial reports with ease. I think I’d lose it If I had to manually type in another expense into my old excel sheet.
As the customer count went up, I found that I had less and less time to dedicate to the social media aspects of Declucks. Instagram, Facebook, and Nextdoor are all becoming increasingly important for businesses to utilize, but require a significant amount of time and knowledge to constantly update and expand them. I knew that Declucks needed someone who can dedicate time to our socials, but had a hard time finding the perfect candidate. When my girlfriend volunteered for the position, I was worried about how the job could affect our relationship, but the work dynamic has not negatively affected the relationship. Instagram is now up to 400 followers and Facebook has 100 friends. Both engagement and interactions are also up significantly. These improvements are vital, and we have already yielded results as two customers were generated from Instagram alone.
With a larger team, new systems and processes were needed in order to organize their work. After some research, I determined that Notion was the best fit for the job since it had a very user-friendly interface to facilitate team collaboration. Also, Notion had a lot of great templates which provided the framework for organizing internal information. Now, all team members have quick and easy access to all of the information they need to complete their job, such as customer contact information, the Standards and Operating Procedure, and monthly referral goals.
As I am writing this blog, Declucks just released its new logo. I really could not be happier with how it turned out. Like every other step I tried to take towards professionalizing the business, this one was a long time coming. The original logo was simply a cartoon image of a chicken laid over a cartoon image of a broom. Although I liked the concept, the design was too detailed and too pixelated. The images used were also completely public, which could end up being a problem down the line. My first instinct was to task my sister with making the new logo. She is an art student at college right now. The problem was that the extremely high-quality products she creates take a lot of time; time I didn't have. After waiting a month to only get some rough mockups from her, I had to pivot. Funny enough my brother saw this as an opportunity to mess with my sister and created the logo in one day. After talking through some modifications with him, we got the end product in just two days, and, as I said earlier, I love it. I can’t wait to see what you all think of it!
From initiating these processes to professionalize the business, I find that I am now taking up a different role within my business. I am learning that in order to keep things moving smoothly, there needs to be a standard structure for the team to fall back on instead of leaning on me. I hope to continue this growth forward, and look forward to where Declucks will take me next!